Small cell lung cancer (staging - superseded)

Previously, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) was not staged in the same manner as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but since 2013 both are staged using the IASLC (International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer) lung cancer staging system (currently in its 8th edition, published in 2016).

The idea behind a different staging system for SCLC was on account of it being almost never resectable at the time of diagnosis, except in rare cases where it appears as a solitary pulmonary nodule. The staging was performed dividing the tumors as such:

  • limited
    • disease confined to one hemithorax
    • inclusive of hilar/supraclavicular lymph nodes
    • patients were suitable for radiation therapy as well as chemotherapy
  • extensive
    • disease extends beyond one hemithorax
    • patients received only chemotherapy
    • accounted for 70% of cases